Page 151. " she must have been bound from the Buenos Ayres "

Defoe gradually sets out a trade route between Spain and her South American colonies.

Later, another ship confirms that Crusoe was right in his suppositions.


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Page 154. " my ORIGINAL SIN "
The Original Sin
Public DomainThe Original Sin - Credit: Lucas Cranach the Elder
A very important Biblical reference, referring as it does to the Fall of Adam and Eve.

There are many interpretations for what Crusoe’s original sin was.  The most common would be disobeying his father, but plenty of other readings can be found.

Page 161. " no executioner in Germany "
Execution by the Sword in Russia
Public DomainExecution by the Sword in Russia - Credit: The Yorck Project

 This refers to the method of execution adopted in continental Europe, where a sword was preferred for decapitation. The axe was used in England until 1747, and was far less clean and quick than the sword. Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, famously asked for a sword to be used for her execution.

Page 166. " as the Scripture says, was a law to themselves "


For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves

Romans 2:14

Page 170. " the mighty river Oroonooko "

The Orinoco river is the second largest in South America. It flows through Venezuela and Colombia, and was first discovered by Columbus in 1498.


Orinoco Sunset
Creative Commons AttributionOrinoco Sunset - Credit: Cabruta08, Flickr


Page 170. " no other name than Caribs; from whence I easily understood, that these were the Caribbees "
Carib Family, 1818
Public DomainCarib Family, 1818 - Credit: John Gabriel Stedman
The Caribs are Amerindians of the Caribbean islands, who were commonly associated with cannibalism during Defoe's time.  In fact the word "cannibal" is said to derive from "Carib".  Columbus, disembarking on Guadaloupe, recorded "Limbs of human bodies hung up in houses as if curing for provisions".

Caribs have largely been displaced in the West Indies by people of European and African origin.  A few survive on islands such as Dominica, but the Carib language is thought to be extinct.

Page 170. " and onwards to St. Martha "

 Santa Marta is a port on Colombia's north coast. It was one of the first cities to be founded in the country and remains an important centre of tourism and commerce.


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Page 172. " he is reserv’d for the judgment "

This passage contains references to several New Testament texts:

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment    2 Peter 2:4

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels    Matthew 25:41

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand    Revelation 20:1

Page 173. " the seed of Abraham "

Abraham is considered by Jews, Christians and Muslims to be the founding father of Israel.